Blog

  • Weekly Economic Monitor -- Divided We Stand

    By Scott J. Brown, Ph.D., Raymond James

    Divided We Stand – Consumer attitude measures are divided by political affiliations. That’s nothing new. Sentiment readings have long depended partly on which party occupies the White House. Republicans currently rate economic conditions better, just as Democrats did during the Obama years (Independents fall somewhere in the middle). What’s different is that, no surprise, these ratings are even more sharply divided now. There is another sharp division that matters more. Business sentiment is decidedly pessimistic, while consumer sentiment is generally more robust. How that difference gets resolved will be key in 2020.

  • Weekly Economic Monitor -- A Downshift in Expectations for 4Q19

    By Scott J. Brown, Ph.D., Raymond James

    Focusing more on a possible mini trade deal with China, financial market participants have largely ignored the recent economic data reports. The figures suggest a softer growth trend in early 4Q19 and many economists have been lowering their  GDP forecasts. Growth is often lumpy from quarter to quarter and the fundamentals imply a moderate economic expansion in 2020. However, as widely noted, recessions are often psychological in nature.

     

  • Weekly Economic Monitor -- Productivity

    By Scott J. Brown, Ph.D., Raymond James

    Productivity – Theoretically, there is no single variable more important to the economy than productivity, or output per worker. Productivity growth is how we get improved living standards over time. Faster productivity helps to offset the impact of wage growth, supporting gains in corporate profits. However, in practice, the productivity estimate is among the most troublesome of economic statistics. Productivity growth has slowed over the last week, in the U.S. and worldwide. Efforts to boost productivity growth should be a priority, as improvement would help to counter slower growth in the workforce.

  • Coasting - 2nd Quarter Update Video

    Three key takeaways from the quarter while looking ahead are:

    1. We do think the Fed will cut rates by the end of the year
    2. Earnings growth looks to continue-at a slow pace
    3. Some cash yields are higher than current inflation, but this won’t last-think long term about where you should have your assets
  • What about Social Security?

    I spend hours each week helping determine the right way for people to file for Social Security.  Determining the why, how, when is crucial to the overall impact of one’s financial plan and how it will affect themselves and their spouse in the long run of life.  Here are some of the most frequently asked questions clients are asking when it comes to their Social Security Benefits.